Official in the Executive Mayor’s Office Recovers from COVID-19

“I was not entirely surprised, as I understood that at some point one might get exposed to the virus, but when the results came back positive I said to myself ‘oh well ,so be it’”.  These are the words of Kholofelo Madisha, one of seven officials from the Executive Mayor’s office who tested positive for Covid-19 last month.

A positive attitude, a zeal to live and adhering to the doctor’s orders are some of the ingredients that saw Madisha recovering from the virus, joining over 300 000 other South Africans who have recovered.

She is, like many, testimony that contracting the virus is not a ‘death sentence’ but a condition that requires a sudden change of life style and behaviour.

Q. What was your first reaction when you got the results?

A. It was not a shock. My concern was how my body was going to react to the virus and if I am strong enough to fight it.

Q. Did you have any symptoms?

A. General body pains, dry cough with bouts of shortness of breath, loss of taste and headaches. I did not experience other symptoms.

Q. How did your family take the news?

A. My family was supportive throughout the experience and they checked on me frequently through Facetime and Video calls.

Q. What adjustments did you have to make at home following the results?

A. I had to isolate as per the regulations and stay away from work. Moreover, I had to familiarise myself with online shopping, to make my life easy. I had to drastically change my diet; no dairy products, alcohol, fizzy drinks and cold drink. I ate low carb, high protein, veggies and fruits.

Q. What was the most difficult thing that you had to deal with following the results?

A. The persistent coughing with bouts of shortness of breath was difficult, also not being able to assist my mother with her errands, as she is a pensioner.

Q. How was your experience in isolation/quarantine?

A. One of the things I had to confront were my thoughts. Be ready to think about everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. Try not to be hard on yourself and focus on the good.

Q. What is the secret to recovery if you have been declared Covid positive?

A. Follow the guidelines as communicated by World Health Organisation and our Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. Furthermore, have a positive outlook and determination. When you feel overwhelmed, make that call/FaceTime to someone or find something that will make you laugh.  After all, laughter is the best medicine.

Q. What did you take from all this experience?

A. There is a stigma around the virus, but above all I am grateful to have the support which saw me through this experience.